That morning, again, was not the usual one. Rita received a call from her mother, and she had to take a bus to her native, Karnataka, immediately. Rita had no time to shed tears; she had to take care of her mother, who was her only hope now. It was the last blow in the series of unfortunate events when she realized that life was unpredictable. Things have changed in just six months. All people whom Rita had seen as her support and shield were gone. Whenever the thought about such a massive loss would strike her, she would tell herself that she still had her mother.
Rita, a joyful and a happy go lucky girl, had fought her way hard from a small remote area in Karnataka to a big city to give interviews and secure a good job. There were many sleepless nights when she used to dream about having financial freedom and being an independent working woman.
All her family used to live in a remote area in Karnataka, and they believed that girls should get married and boys should join the family business as soon as they complete their education. Rita grew up in a Gujarati joint family listening to teachings from Gita by her grandmother, Dadi. Dadi had bound every one in the family with love and care. She was an inspiration to many people in the village as even at the age of ninety she was an avid reader. Rita got her motivation from her mother, who was calm, patient, and mentally capable of facing any situation. Rita had been an obedient and sincere girl, who grew up secretly believing that one day she would move to a big city and work there, just like some women whose interviews used to appear in a newspaper. When Rita completed her graduation, she started working as a teacher in a locality near to her native place. But the dreams of working in corporate did not let her sleep.
However, Rita was a little scared of her father and her uncle; both of them were running a family business and wanted Rita to follow the traditional path of getting married after her graduation. Rita's father was entirely against her idea to work away from family. Her Dadi supported her secretly. Dadi knew that Rita had the potential to do something different. But Dadi also worried a little about leaving Rita alone in a big city where there were no family members to take care of her. Rita's mother was worried too, but her mother wanted a bright future for Rita, and hence she received her mother's support as well. Rita, eventually, had to convince only her father & uncle. It took almost a year for her to convince both of them. When slowly, gradually her uncle and eventually her father agreed to let her fight her own battles, Rita was over the moon. She was not afraid of the struggles ahead. That was the kind of life she was looking for. Rita was helped by many of her friends and relatives when she was away from her home for giving interviews. Her fight to secure a job came to an end very soon. Her family was proud of her, and Rita was, alas, an independent girl.
Some years passed by, Rita was regularly going home and visiting her family. There were challenges in her professional life, but she was working on them. Some people said that Rita had to work on her communication skills. She had a manager who helped Rita come out of her comfort zone and reach a point where Rita's communication and interpersonal skills improved drastically. Rita was winning each and every game. Her hard work was paying off, and she was on cloud nine.
But as they say, good times don't last long!
One day when Rita was out for a movie with her friends, she received a call from her mother, and she was asked to reach her native as soon as possible. Rita was not sure what the matter was as no one was saying anything. She could not believe her eyes for a moment when she reached home as the dead body of Dadi welcomed her. From that day onwards, Rita started going home every weekend without fail as she wanted to be with her family; she wanted to share everyone's pain.
It was Monday, Dadi's death was twenty days old when Rita had come back from home and joined the office. She called her father in the afternoon to see whether he had his lunch. They both spoke for a while, and Rita came to know that her father was going to a hospital as he had a cough. In half an hour, Rita received a message in her family WhatsApp group that her father had died. It was all of a sudden, and it was a shock to the whole family. Everyone was still mourning the loss of Dadi when her father passed away. Rita had to go home; this time, it was difficult for her to be stable and to control her emotions. After Rita had fought hard for her career, her father had started believing that Rita could do something different that no one else in their family had ever done. His love for her was immense, and for Rita, he was her hero. The feeling of loneliness grasped her. And she could not come out of the despair for a long time. Sometimes she had no words to express her pain, but she did feel a vacuum inside. She thought that she was useless, that it was the end of her world. She had her whole life in front of her, but there was no excitement as her beloved father was no more.
Her mother was facing these sad events with a lot of courage. Sometimes Rita used to decide to be like her mother, to be calm, to be patient and to face the situation with courage, but she could not. It was difficult, way too difficult for her. She relied on her mother & her uncle to gain her mental strength back. That was the magic of a joint family; there were people around her who understood and supported her in her bad times.
But her problems were not over yet; she received one more strange call from her mother four months after her father's death. There was one more death at home & this time it was her uncle!
Rita lost faith in life, her eyes were tired of crying, and her mind was fearing for the future. She felt that something wrong is going on in her family. All the three losses were sudden, and those who were gone were the robust pillars of the family. All elders in the family were gone, and all the young generation was exposed to lifetime despairs.
But there was no option of giving up as she had her mother and younger sister to take care of. She realized that it was her responsibility as the eldest child in the family to support others even when she was broken. She missed Dadi, her father & uncle every day. Losing her father was her biggest shock, and she could never recover from it. She was extremely stressed, and she started losing herself. But that could not go on for long; she knew that she had to fight the situation, she had her mother to take care of. She gathered herself over time.
She was lonely inside, but to the outside world, she was responsible, independent, and capable to mentally and financially support her mother.
With these ongoing unfortunate events in her personal life, she was trying to manage her professional life. She immersed herself in office work.
She was always a good performer, and even in the days of stress, she could successfully maintain her performance. After improving her interpersonal skills, Rita took a bold step of organizing Toastmaster's event, and she became VP of the Toastmaster's club in her organization. It may seem a small thing to the world, but it was a big step for Rita, a girl who had fought her way from a remote area in Karnataka to a big City, who was criticized as 'not a good communicator' and who had been through a series of unfortunate events of losing her near and dear ones. Organizing such events and taking responsibility for the success of these events was, in fact, an achievement, which Rita, would cherish forever. Her accomplishments in professional life, though gradually, started filling-in for her despair in personal life. Some losses in personal life would never be recovered; she knew it. But she had to keep going and smiling even when she was crying inside.
Nonetheless, we live to fight another day!
Today, Rita is a successful corporate professional. But the time she had been through was not easy to forget. She had realized that her career was and would always be vital for her. It was a place where she recognized her potential and where she started learning new things every day.
She always follows her mother, who is as self-assertive as Rita is.
Rita usually likes to spend her day exercising, and playing sports, however, due to time constraint she can hardly do it, though she does take out some time to exercise. She believes that she can have it all, provided she can list down things and prioritize them based on her current situation. Rita is a bright girl who likes to spend time working in the office.
That's Rita for you all, and that's her story!!